An interesting question over at LifeSiteNews: Why is the pro-life movement so Christian, and should it be? I invite you to read the piece for yourself – personally, I found the opening question fascinating. What came after the third paragraph was random and not nearly as logically tight as it should have been, but hey. [I never said I was easy to please.]
My short answer to “Why aren’t there more non-Christians in the pro-life movement?” is this: Because some Christians can be real off-putting. Especially the ones who won’t shut up about religion even when surrounded by ostensibly non-religious people. There are people I actively avoid because of that, even though they know (I can be very clear when I want to) I do not wish to hear about Jesus and how much they love Him.
I don’t mean disrespect; quite the opposite. I want everybody to respect everybody else’s preference in that regard. Especially when discussing issues that aren’t necessarily religious – like, yes, abortion. I know, understand, and sympathize with the view that says life is a gift from God and we, simple humans, shouldn’t be allowed to mess with it. It’s a strong argument against abortion (and euthanasia, and stem-cell research, etc.) but it’s not the only one.
One of the reasons I agreed to join PWPL was Andrea’s insistence that it be non-religious. As she says, “ProWomanProLife believes abortion is a human, social issue, not a religious or faith matter, whereby women and men of any faith or no faith at all can stand up in support of women’s rights and life, at the same time.”
That the pro-life movement should be overwhelmingly Christian due to the overwhelming presence of Christians in its ranks is one thing. It’s quite another to be so Christian as to cause non-Christians (or non-religious) people to refrain from getting involved. The line between the two is a fine one. But that doesn’t mean it should be crossed.
Andrea adds: I read the piece, and thought there was a lot of meat there, lots to think about. That we should eradicate Christians from this struggle, as from any struggle, would be a big mistake. Our society is close (if not already there) to viewing religious folks as irrational, in every case. That’s just wrong.
I don’t believe abortion is a Christian religious issue: ie. You don’t need to be a Christ-follower to see what Christian pro-lifers see. But Christian beliefs, or call them Judeo-Christian values, are absolutely essential to this debate: Those are the values that teach us to value human life, just because.
First time you hit on a pro-abortion person who is honest enough to admit they know that there is a person there, but don’t care and think that taking that life ought to be a choice anyway–that’s where the rubber hits the road so to speak. When the abortionist analyses the “products of conception” and pieces the body back together to be sure that all those said products have been removed from the uterus, he knows he is faced with a person, a life.
The author is wrong on one thing: There is at least one famous pro-abortion person who became pro-life prior to any kind of religious conversion. That’s Bernard Nathanson–the founder of the largest abortion clinic in the United States. Read his bio, it’s fascinating. And disturbing. Perhaps becoming pro-life led him to become Christian, which he did, afterwards. But he became pro-life first. Your average Christian will say God can use any one of us, and that He works in ways we don’t understand. Any given day, I’d say that is true, for sure.